JKYog e-Magazine, Issue No.57

May, 2014 

"The Supreme Lord Who is the Soul of all souls has descended upon the earth in His personal form, as Shree Krishna, for the welfare of the world."
(Bhagavatgam 10.14.55)


This month 'Sumiran' team is picking God is present as both: Formless and Personal topic  of the month.  In this issue we will be presenting various articles on God's Formless aspect and Personal form, Bal-Mukund Contributions, Featured items and 10 tips for a Healthy Heart.
Is God Formless? 
People may choose to believe in God or not, but everyone has a general understanding of Him as the Supreme Power that controls the functioning of the universe.   To gather a better understanding of who God is, we must explore beyond the general notions and refer to the infallible Vedas. The Vedas describe God as:

  yato vā imāni bhootāni jāyante yena jātāni jīvanti,

      yatprayantyabhisaṁviśhanti (Taittirīya Upanisḥad 3.1)

  "God is he, who  has created this world; God is he, within whom the entire world exists; God is he, within whom the whole world will merge at the time of annihilation."

Therefore God is  the All-powerful creator of the universe.  Everything in this wondrous material creation from the smallest atom to the largest galaxies has not appeared on its own.  Each and every life form and the marvellous aspects of nature are the creation of the almighty God.  
Even though people believe that God has created the world around us which is full of shapes and forms, they argue that God himself is formless.  They believe that God exists as a light and without limiting attributes of names, shapes and qualities.  So accordingly, Krishna, Ram, Shiv, etc., cannot be God, for they possess a form.  But such a belief contradicts the all-mightiness of God.  If he can create forms how can He not have the ability to take on a form Himself?  Definitely He does!  If we admit that He is All-powerful, then we must also accept that He possesses the power to manifest in a personal form. 

At the same time, God is also formless.  He exists everywhere in the world.  For Him to be all-pervading, it is necessary that He should also be formless. God is perfect and complete, and so He is both formless and possessing forms. 

dwe vāva brahmaṇo roope moortaṁ chaiva amoortaṁ cha (Bṛhadāraṇyak Upaniṣhad 2.3.1)

"God is formless and all-pervading, but he also manifests in a personal form."
The Shreemad Bhagvatam clarifies the different manifestations of God in more detail:

vadanti tattattva vidastattvaṁ yajgyānamadvayam 
brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavāniti śhabdyate (Shreemad Bhagavatam 1.2.11)

It says,"The Supreme Lord manifests in this world in three ways: Brahman, Paramātmā, and Bhagavān."  They are not three different Gods, rather they are three manifestations of the same one God.   However, their qualities are different, just as water, steam, and ice are the same substance, but their physical qualities are different.

Brahman is the aspect of God that is everywhere in creation.  In this omnipresent aspect, God does not manifest his forms, virtues, pastimes, etc. He is merely existent, eternal, knowledge, and bliss. The path of jāna yog gives the realization of God as the all-pervading formless BrahmanParamātmā is the aspect of God that is seated in everyone's hearts.  Seated within, he notes all our thoughts and actions, keeps an account of them, and gives the results at the appropriate time. However, he does not display any pastimes. The path of aṣhṭāṅg yog leads to the Paramātmā realization of God, residing within our hearts. Finally there is the Bhagavān aspect of God in which God manifests in His personal form. That personal form is called Bhagavān, in which he manifests all the sweetness of his names, forms, qualities, abodes, pastimes and associates. As Bhagavān, all the powers and aspects of God's personality, which are latent in the other forms, get revealed. The path of bhakti, or devotion, leads to the realization of God in his Bhagavān aspect.

Such an understanding of the different manifestations of the One All-powerful God leaves no room for arguments and confusion about whether God has a form or He is formless.  God exists in different forms, now you simply have to choose which form to worship. 
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In This Issue

With the personal form of God as the object of their devotion, devotees easily focus their mind and senses upon him. They engage their tongue and ears in chanting and hearing the divine names of God, their eyes in seeing the image of divine form, their body in performing actions for his pleasure, their mind in thinking of his wonderful pastimes and virtues, and their intellect in contemplating upon his glories. In this way, they quickly unite their consciousness with God.

   Source : Bhagavad Gita, The Song of God,  

   Commentary by Swami Mukundananda      

THE BLISS OF PERSONAL FORM OF GOD
When we desire to do devotion, the first question that comes to our mind is: Which form of God should we worship; formless or personal form?
 

We are free to exercise our will and follow the path of jāna yog and realize the formless aspect of Brahman or we can follow the path of bhakti and realize God in His personal form as Bhagavān. But there must be some difference in the realizations because of which the Bhakti Sudhodhaya says, "The Bliss of the personal form of God is exceedingly sweeter than that of the formless Brahman."

 

Consider an example to understand this point.  Let us say that a woman is carrying a baby in her womb. Although she has not seen her baby as yet, she is happy at the thought that soon she will become a mother. After a few months, the baby is born and starts growing up.  The mother holds her two year-old baby in her lap with great love.  Now, ask that mother, "The joy you are experiencing from your baby now, is it the same as the joy you got when the baby was in your womb."  

 

The mother will say, "What are you saying? That was nine months of pain. This is real bliss. I can see my little daughter, hug her, hear her childish chatter, see her innocent pastimes and serve her. When she was in the womb, it was just a feeling that I have a baby."  

 

Similarly, those who worship the formless Brahman, cannot see their Lord; they cannot witness His sweet Leelas; they cannot hear the enchanting sound of His flute, or feel the love of His embrace. They can only experience Him in their minds. But the worshipers of God in His form as Bhagavan are able to see the Divine form of His Beloved Lord, participate in His sweet pastimes, and serve Him to their heart's content. They experience all the sweetness of the Names, Forms, Qualities, Pastimes, Abodes and associates of God.  

 

Since eternity, we have been habituated to interacting with people and things possessing forms, shapes, attributes, etc. So our mind is naturally accustomed to forms. If we engage in meditation on the formless Brahman, it is against our nature. If you were asked to observe a light for six hours and contemplate on it, you would probably not be able to do so. Instead, if you were asked to see a wonderful drama, with a great story, attractive actors and lots of action, you would thoroughly enjoy it, and easily sit through the entire session. You can take advantage of all the nectarine descriptions of the loving leelasof God, which have been described in the scriptures, and turn your mind towards Him.    

 

Hence, the highest Bliss of God is attained from His personal form as Bhagavān. This is called Premanand, or Divine Love Bliss. It is innumerable times sweeter than Brahmanand, the Bliss of the formless Brahm. They are both sweet, but one is sweeter. This is just as jaggery, sugar and candy are all sweet. However, if you were eating jaggery, and someone put candy in front, you would leave the jaggery and pick up the candy. The jaggery is sweet, but sugar is sweeter, and candy is the sweetest.

EDUCATE A GIRL - JKYOG YOUTH INITIATIVE 

"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next".    Abraham Lincoln


JKYog Youth Club is working with JKP Education (recipient of Nelson Mandela Peace Award, Nari Award, Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award & Mother Teresa Excellence Award) to give some of these girls the life changing gift of education.  JKP Youth Club is committed to not only providing free education to girls in rural areas, but will also defray other indirect costs that tend to burden poor families such as school uniforms, supplies, etc.  The goal is not just to provide free education but also to provide these girls with the opportunity to grow and realize their potential. 

Lend your support and extend your hand to this noble cause.
Help an under privileged girl stand on her feet!

JKP runs three educational institutions.

Kripalu Balika Primary School (Pre-School to Grade 5)

Kripalu Balika Intermediate College (Grade 6 to 12)

Kripalu Mahila Mahavidyalay (Under & Post Graduate College)

Kindly lend your support to this noble cause by sponsoring the education of one of these girls

Primary School Education-$1500

Secondary School Education-$1500

Graduate Education-$650

Two Years of Education-$430

One Year of Education-$215

 

Click here to sponsor Now!

 

JKYog and The Women's Education Cause

Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP) Education provides free education to poor girls from rural areas in India. Over 5000 girls are enrolled full time in these schools, ranging from kindergarten to college. In order to support the work of JKP Education, JKYog youth leaders are working on a fundraiser. Their goal is to support a minimum of 100 girls and give the gift of education to a young one in need

Show your support by helping a girl gain control over her life today!

Kripalu Leelamrit - Nectar from Shree Maharajji's Life


At the age of twenty two years, Maharajji emerged from the forests of Chitrakoot. When he emerged from the forest and back into civilization, he was hardly wearing any clothes.  At first, some children saw him and were simply amazed at what they saw.  They saw a young boy who was walking with his eyes half opened.  His hair was all matted and body was full of dust.

 

The children didn't know what to think.  Some threw stones at him for fun.  Maharajji walked to the nearest well probably to quench his thirst.  Some village women were washing their clothes and young boys were playing around the well. At first glance everyone thought he must be a mad man.  However, they soon realized that his condition was not of madness; in fact he was absorbed in transcendental consciousness.

 

Maharajji sat down at a place and was constantly absorbed in his state of deep samadhi.  When some elderly people saw him in that state, it took them no time to recognize that Maharajji was a Saint.  They invited him over to their house.  But Maharajji remained silent; he neither said yes nor no.  In his samadhi state Maharajji simply followed them to their residence where the hosts took Maharajji to their best room and offered him to sit on their bed.  For a moment Maharajji called out, "Ha Krishna, Ha Radhey" and the next moment he fell unconscious on the bed.  The family attending him was quite amazed.  Such a state of absorption in transcendental consciousness was not ordinary. They realized he was a truly an elevated Saint. They offered Maharajji some clothes to wear. In fact everyone in the family began to feel that Maharajji was their very own family member. He was just like a child. They cleaned him and put new clothes on him just like people do for their own children and Maharajji simply accepted whatever people did for him.  He didn't do anything by himself ashe was always absorbed in deep samadhi.  He didn't even eat with his own hands.  People had to feed him.    

 

Soon other people in the village learnt about Maharajji and they also started inviting him to their houses. At that time people used to call him Paramhans (liberated soul).  Maharajji kept moving from one house to another and ate whatever was fed to him.  If people fed him little food because that was all they had, he ate little.  If they fed him more, he ate more. He wore whatever they clothed him with.   

 

In this manner, he travelled from one village to the next.  Now since Maharajji had emerged out of the forests and was gracing everyone with his association, more and more people started getting attached to him. He would stay at someone's house for a few days and leave but then return again. However, no one ever knew about Maharajji's schedule. He could be back in ten minutes or it could be even ten days or more.    

 

Maharajji eventually travelled to a place called Jhansi. Later he spent six months in Gahavarvan and Barsana and from there he went further to Vrindavan.

 

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News & Updates
Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony for Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's Memorial was held at Bhakti Dham, Mangarh on May 10th, 2014.   
The timeless Memorial will stand tall commemorating the divine presence of Shree Maharajji on earth, and the profound spiritual wisdom he revealed to the world. Click to see pictures. 

Swamiji conducted Yoga, Meditation and discourses programs at Morrisville, NC, Northridge, CA and Phoenix, AZ

 

 

 

Swamiji's USA 2014 tour pictures will be posted on

www.facebook.com/JKYogActivities  page on Facebook.

Kindly visit the page and click on the LIKE  button.

JKYog Retreats 2014

Welcome to a weekend of spiritual rejuvenation and frolicking fun.

Join Swamiji at the Spiritual Retreats for the experience of a lifetime. Register Now!

For details & registration, Click here

June 27th to 29th  

Mt. Laurel, NJ 

Sept 19th to 21st 

Chicago, IL 

Aug 30th to Sept 1st 

Dallas, TX 

Oct 10th to 12th 

Radha Madhav Dham, Austin

Lectures

Incomprehensible Acts of  
God and Saints

by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj  

 

God has descended to earth countless times. We have met God innumerable times. We were on earth every time God descended. We saw him each time in every form. But, we did not recognize him as God, and therefore committed offences.   

  

In the same way we met Saints also. But, we did not recognize them and committed offences. What kind of offences? The most serious offence, known as Namaparadh (Spiritual Transgression). Namaparadh is such a serious offence that other sins such as killing a Brahmin, are insignificant when compared to it. What was the reason behind committing Namaparadh? Our material intellect. Our intellect is made of Maya, whereas the works of God and Saints are divine. Even the most intelligent cannot comprehend the actions of a Saint. This is because these actions are performed by a divine power called Yogmaya, which is a special personal power of God.    

 

Though they are divine, externally the actions of God and Saints seem just like ours.

 

kiyecharitpāvanparamprākṛitnaranuroop

 

God and Saints perform actions that are externally just like the actions of ordinary people controlled by Maya. Looking at the externals we take the decision that their actions are material. In this way we misunderstand them and end up committing Namaparadh. The difference is that our intellect is made of Maya and the actions of God and Saints are performed with Yogmaya, which means that externally the action seems to be an ordinary work of Maya, but internally the Saint is always united with God. This means that their intention is divine and beyond the comprehension of our material intellect. However, without realizing the shortcoming of our own intellect, we ask the question, "Why is it that I can't understand?"   

 

Let me explain this to you in another way. Some four and five year old siblings get together and talk to each other. They say, "Why do our Mummy and Daddy, both call us beta (my child). They asked their parents this question, and hearing the question all the parents started laughing. "Yes, yes, you are my son and you are Mummy's son also." The child says, "But, how can I be the son of both of you?" The parent says, "Don't argue, just accept that you are. Be quiet for now and believe what I am telling you."

 

Now, why isn't the child able to understand that he is the child of both his parents? The reason is that the child is unfamiliar with the feeling of lust, and so is unaware of the principle of child-birth. You can have him memorize the words. He will memorize them, but he will not understand them. He will understand when he is 15 years of age, when he starts suffering from the feelings of lust. Then he will think to himself, "Oh, when I was a child I used to think that my parents are fools and they cannot make me understand. Now, I understand how it is that I am the child of both my parents."

 

In the very same way, as long as we suffer from lust, anger, greed and attachment, we cannot understand how it is that God and God-realized Saints can perform material works, but remain beyond Maya at the same time. Shree Krishna married 16,108 women. Shree Krishna had ten children each with each one of his 16,108 wives. And yet Shree Krishna is celibate. He is a celibate? Yes. He had 161,080 children. The question is, why did Shree Krishna marry 16,108 women? And why did he have so many children? The same children became felonious. All of them; not just one or two or three or four. And then Shree Krishna had them all killed. All the while he was smiling.

 

You were all there at that time (in past lives) and you must have heard all this. You would not have understood anything. Your mind would have stopped working and would be thinking, "Oh! You call him God? First, he got married to so many women; then he had so many children; then all the children became felonious. How could this happen? Why didn't he scold all his children?" We would have passed all these comments at that time. We cannot understand a single thing about God when he comes down to earth. What to speak of others, even Parvatiji had a doubt, "This Ram is God, and he is searching for Sita!"  

Bhakti Shatak 

Explained by Swami Mukundananda 

 

Bhakti Śhatak is one of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's principle writings, with hundred golden couplets of inspiring quotes, advice, and guidance for sincere devotees seeking to firmly establish themselves on the path of bhakti.   

Continuing with the explanation of the next verse:

 

mana! māyā te hī banyo, māyā te sansār

yāte mana bhāvat sadā, yaha sansār asār

 

Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj further explains the predicament of the mind. He says, "Do you find your mind going towards the world even without you desiring it? Do you find your mind deliberating upon worldly material thoughts even though you don't wish for it? Do you have the same thoughts of attachment, hatred, fear or anxiety repeating in your mind again and again like a broken record?" "Yes, we do." He gives the reason for this. He says, "The reason is that this world is made of Maya, the material energy and your mind is also made up of Maya. Both are of the same kind. That is why this mind is naturally attracted to the world. It doesn't need to be pushed. You don't say, "I have been trying for three days to take my mind to the world; it just doesn't go." That kind of problem will not arise. It is natural for the mind to be attracted to the material world. And to take it towards God is unnatural. Because God is divine and the mind is material. Therefore, the mind has to be pushed towards God, but the mind doesn't like it and it wants to come back as it gets pleasure from the world.   

 

It is just like when someone suffers from jaundice, the tongue gets spoiled. If you give that person sweet sugarcane and ask how it is, the person says, "It's bitter." "Sugarcane is bitter?" "No, the jaundice disease is making it taste bitter." Similarly, the bliss of Shree Ram or Shree Krishna is infinitely sweet. Great yogis are fascinated by that bliss. But we find it boring and instead think of material pleasures as very enticing. Let us take another example. Somebody got a snake bite. Now you give him bitter neem leaf and ask him, "How does it taste? Bitter?" He will say, "No it's so sweet". It is the snake's poison inside his body that is making the bitter neem taste so sweet. Similarly, the pleasures of the world seem very delightful to the material mind and it naturally goes to the world. In contrast, the mind needs to be forced towards God.  

 

Hence, don't be astonished if the mind gives you material suggestions. Sometimes people in their simple mindedness get astonished and say, "Swamiji, why do I think like this. Why do I feel like this?" Don't be surprised. Your mind is a machine. It keeps on generating thoughts. You don't have to chase every thought, "Why did I think like this; why did I think like that?" It is better to ignore them and focus on your goal or work at hand. And if you keep on analyzing every action of yours, "Why did I get attached; why did I get the thought of pride; why did I get angry?" Then you are only compounding your problems.  

 

Therefore, understand that the mind is made up of Maya; it will keep generating these māyik thoughts. You don't have to accept them, just ignore them. Sometimes when you eat rice, a small piece of stone also comes into your mouth. Do you take it in? No, it is not desirable so you throw it out. You take in the things that are desirable; you reject the ones that are undesirable. Similarly, if the mind creates an undesirable thought, reject it. Don't be astonished at the thoughts the mind creates. Your job is to discard it. And slowly the mind will become strong. And unwanted thoughts will start dying away. And then gradually you will progress on the path of devotion.

Featured Items

  

Secrets of Spiritual Practice [Eng]

Episodes: 11 | 12  |  13  | 14 |  15 | 16          

Bhagavad Gita CH 12 [Hin]

Episodes: 11 | 12  | 13 | 14 |  15 | 16       

Question & Answer with Swami Mukundananda

JKYog brings a series of question-answer sessions with Swami Mukundananda. In the first series, Swamiji answers questions raised by young aspirants from different walks of life. 

Every week we will bring a different question with Swamiji's inspiring answer.

  Subscribe to JKYog Youtube Channel for more videos. Click Here

Will ethics and values see me through life?

A step-by-step guide on how to strengthen, nurture and implement those values to bring miracles in our life.   

I am a good person. Do I need to worship God?

Lots of people think that fulfilling one's duty, being a good person, doing nothing wrong to others is enough.  Is it so?

What can I give and take from this world?

There are 3 types of people- the takers, the givers & the matchers.  Who are you?  What are we to take & how are we to give back?  

JKYog Presents

Bal-Mukund

Personality Development Classes for Children

Highlights:

   Character Building Values

   Yoga & Meditations

   Bhajans, Shlokas & Prayers

   Inspiring Stories

Showcase:

Bal-Mukund welcomes all contributions of creative works from children in different areas including poetry, moral stories, art work, etc.

 Like us on Facebook
 Visit our blog

Website

Centers

Books & CDs

Holi celebration by NC center children.  
Swamiji with NC center children.
Ram Navami celebration by CT center children. 



 

  

Wellness for Life

10 Tips for a Healthy Heart
A strong heart is a result of healthy lifestyle choices.  
Be active and stress-free 
 
Learning about heart diseases and preventing them is very important. Some health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease.  Today's fast-paced life and workplace pressures escalate stress levels, taking a toll on one's heart. We must realize that the healing power of the body decreases when under stress, leading to many complications like hypertension and poor immunity. Today, even youngsters are prone to heart ailments.  You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have. 
Here are some simple ways to protect your heart from major problems in the future.

1. Cut down on salt:  Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

2. Avoid smoking: Smoking reduces life expectancy by 15-25 years. If you are a smoker, you are twice more likely to have a heart attack than a non-smoker. The moment you stop smoking, the risk of heart attack begins to reduce.

3. Watch your diet:  Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables-adults should have at least 5 servings each day.

4. Get active:  At least aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Keeping yourself fit not only benefits the heart but also improves mental health and well-being.   

5. Manage your waist: Cholesterol deposition in blood vessels begins in the first decade of life. Carrying a lot of extra weight as fat can greatly affect your health. Make small but healthy changes in your diet.   

6. Manage your stress level:  If you find things are getting on top of you, you may fail to eat properly, smoke and drink too much. This may increase your risk of a heart attack. Practice yoga/meditation. Take a vacation.

7. Monitor your alcohol:  Too much alcohol can damage the heart muscle, increase blood pressure and also lead to weight gain. Avoid intake of alcohol or at least limit it to one to two units a day, gradually decreasing the consumption.  

8. Take your medicine:  If you're taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don't understand something.

9. Monitor your BP, blood sugar and cholesterol levels: Routine medical check-ups will ring an alarm, if you need medical help.    
 
10.  Laughter is the best therapy:  Laughter anytime will work wonders for you. It is an instant way to unleash the pressure and it makes you feel light.  
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